Sophomore Andy Connell turned his best performance of the season at 210 (-6).
March 5, 2006
WINTER GARDEN, Fla. - Sophomore Andy Connell and senior Andy Pope each fired a round of 67 (-5) to lead the Xavier University men's golf team to a 9-under par 279 in the third round of the 2006 Orange County National Invitational, but it was not enough to overcome the large lead established on day one by Lamar University. Xavier finished in second place with a three-round total of 852 (-12) while the Cardinals ran away with the team title at 31-under par (833) including a 283 (-5) in the final round.
The individual leaderboard featured a three-way tie between Eastern Michigan's Graham Hill and Lamar's Andrew Landry and Justin Harding. Each of the three finished the three-round tournament at 8-under par (208) and shared the medalist honors. Hill and Lamar's Dusty Smith recorded the low round of the tournament as Smith fired a 7-under par 65 in round one and Hill matched the feat in the third round.
Connell recorded his best individual finish of the season as he claimed fourth overall for the Musketeers with a 6-under par 210 including a 67 (-5) in the third round. Connell's third round of 67 included a pair of eagles with the first coming on the par 5, 503-yard No. 1 hole and the second on the par 4, 454-yard No. 16. The sophomore led the tournament with three eagles in the 36 holes and he also tied with Lamar's Andrew Landry and his XU teammate Jason Kokrak for first in par 5 scoring at -11 for the three rounds.
Pope tied for sixth individually at 212 (-4) on the strength of a season-low round of 67 (-5) on Sunday. Kokrak fired a 1-over par 73 in the third round to finish with a two-day total of 213 (-3). Junior John Streibich carded a final round of 75 (+3) and totaled a 7-over par 223 for the 36 holes. Senior Justin Fender completed the Xavier team lineup with a 72 (E), which put him at 9-over par (225) for the tournament.
Competing as individuals, freshmen Mike Beausejour and Kyle Hodges matched each other for the second consecutive day with an even-par 72 to finish at 216 (E). Josh Hedge turned in a third-round 77 (+5) and finished with a 240 (+24) while Brian Keating fired an 81 (+9) to finish at 25-over par (241).
Xavier will look for its sixth consecutive top finish of the season when the Musketeers return to the course on March 19 for day one of the three-day Pinehurst Invitational in legendary Pinehurst, N.C.